The crew of the space shuttle Atlantis spent part of today hauling a new piece of the International Space Station from the shuttle’s cargo bay to the station and fixing it in place using robotic arms as part of mission STS-132.
The Russian Mini Research Module-1, also known as Dawn or Rassvet, began its journey at 10:49 BST. At 11:36 BST, the module was handed from the shuttle arm to the robotic arm of the ISS. After a brief wait to ensure the event occurred at ‘dawn’ (the sunrise that happens every ninety minutes or so in orbit), the module became a part of the Russian built bit of the ISS at 13:20 BST, providing a science laboratory and a new docking ring, adding to the three Soyuz/Progress docking rings in operation to date. Events, as ever, were broadcast on NASA TV and then archived on their Youtube Channel, from where they made their way here:
Tomorrow’s spacewalkers, carrying out the 2nd of three EVAs, are presently snoozing in the Quest airlock to accustom themselves to low pressure environments. This is done before they don their spacesuits to avoid complications such as the bends. Updates about mission events will be sent over NASA’s twitter account.
If the orbit is right, you may be able to see the shuttle and station flying overhead, check Heavens Above for times. If the orbit is very right and you are very good, you might even be able to take a picture of the two against the Sun. But what was it like for those at the launch of Atlantis? Direct questions to the crowd of 150 twitter users NASA gathered together here, or watch the description below by David Letterman, from his Youtube Channel: